Irish filmmaker Kirsten Sheridan spins another modern-day musical fairy tale in AUGUST RUSH, in which the title prodigy uses his gifts to track down his lost parents. Sounds a little like Once upon a time. Freddie Highmore, Keri Russell, Jonathan Rhys Meyers, and the inevitable Robin Williams feel the magic. And speaking of musical prodigies — what to make of I’M NOT THERE, the unpredictable Todd Haynes’s Cubist Bob Dylan bio-pic in which Cate Blanchett, Richard Gere, Heath Ledger, Christian Bale, and at least two other actors play different manifestations of the trickster poet demi-god? It may be awful, but it will be worth seeing.
Same goes for Woody Allen’s CASSANDRA’S DREAM, which has Woody in serious mode telling the story of two troubled brothers — Ewan McGregor and Colin Farrell — who darken London with their troubles. And when you come right down to it, that goes for THE CHRISTMAS COTTAGE as well. Inspired by the popular 1990 Thomas Kinkade painting, the film includes in its cast Marcia Gay Harden, whose taste in art seems to have changed since she played Lee Krasner in Pollock. Will she echo her line from that film, saying, “Kinkade, you’ve done it. You’ve cracked it wide open. You’re the world’s greatest painter”? I hope so. Regardless, after watching that, I wonder how I’ll ever be able to take movies seriously again.
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